Fake News: exploring digital literacy in the classroom

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By Fe Luton, education writer

In this article, educational expert Fe Luton explains how you can arm your children with the digital literacy skills required to spot and discard fake news.

Fake news

Fake News is an expression we now encounter on a daily basis. With the growing use of social media, especially by well-known and often trusted figures, fake news can spread like wildfire. The consequences can be far fetching and damaging, so it is crucial that we arm our children with the means to spot and discard that which is fake and trust that which is not. Digital literacy in the classroom is vital as we increasingly meet this 21st century phenomenon.

What is fake news and how can we spot it?

There are three main types of fake news:
  1. Stories that are deliberately false to try and make people believe something that simply isn’t true or to lure people to visit a website. The author is fully aware that they are not true.
  2. Stories that have an element of truth to them but that lack accuracy. The author may not always be aware that they are writing something untrue simply because they haven’t checked their facts. This type of false news also includes stories where true elements have been exaggerated or key information omitted. As a result it can be very misleading or biased.
  3. Satirical stories that are written to make fun of the news and to entertain. The author would openly share that these stories are not true, but not everyone realises that they are a joke.
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